Even in his early years, Salvador Dali was a man who belonged to no era. Sure, he’s most often associated with the surrealist movement (a classification that many other surrealist artists would come to contest) but Dali was a character that transcended time. Much like his paintings, Dali’s own appearance reflected a reality that seemed to exist only in his mind. Whether it was britches or balloon legged trousers, open collared polos or cheetah printed pullovers, velvet sport-coats or tennis sweaters, Dali dressed himself just as he would paint a canvas, bringing together disparate styles and silhouettes in a manner that was wholly unique to him. So, curl up your mustache, start tapping into your subconscious and follow along as we track the many outfits and idiosyncrasies of Salvador Dali.
The Beatles of the late sixties were not the same band of mop-topped musicians that had taken America by storm in 1964. By the time they officially called in quits in 1970 John, Paul, Ringo, and George had all separated themselves from the clean-cut look and crisp sound that defined the band’s early years. Each man had outgrown The Beatles in their own way, and so when they finally decided to end the era of The Fab Four, they were all eager to forge their own paths. The latter years of the band had been marked by psychedelic explorations and a more free-spirited approach to just about everything, which was an attitude that each Beatle seemed to carry on through their solo careers throughout the seventies.
If you ask anyone that’s even tangentially connected to the clothing world about how a man should go about dressing better, they will almost certainly tell you that one of the first steps is “finding the right fit.” This oft quoted phrase is a concise way of stating that all men must determine what works for them and what does not. This is surely a personal matter, but it also raises a quandary for some men – after all, how does a man find his right fit, if he himself is not so fit. From runway shots, to campaign ads, to e-comm imagery, right down to the in-store mannequins, the majority of men that we see as the template for how to wear clothing today are svelte, if not unrealistic in shape. And yet, most of our are not graced with the lithe physique of a model, so it’s worth asking, where are the real(istic) men?
That answer to this conundrum, lies in the past. Ernest Hemingway, Fatty Arbuckle, Alfred Hitchcock, Marlon Brando (the later years) these were all men of substance in every sense, and yet their added girth never interfered with their status as icons. Amongst these heftier legends, German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe stands out, not merely for his designs, but for his dress.
Americans have blue jeans, the French have Breton stripes.
No item is more fundamental to French style than the blue and white striped shirt, and there’s certainly no shortage of them to go around. The appeal of a Breton tee is simple, they’re tailored through the body with an open “boat-neck,” but relaxed in the sleeve and are generally one of the most comfortable garments you can wear. It’s often the most basic items that are the easiest to screw up though and there are countless “close but no cigar” iterations of the Breton tee out there. Which brings us to Orcival, the seventy-five year old purveyors of an authentic Breton stripe tee.
Ankle espadrilles, madras short shorts, and more compartments than a Boeing 747, oh yes there is quite a lot going on with Gary Cooper’s outfit in the photo above, but for now let’s all shift our attention over to John Wayne’s more approachable attire.
While that cowboy hat probably deserves a post all its own, Wayne’s Guayabera shirt is the real winner of this shot. When this photo was snapped back in Acapulco during the forties, Guayabera’s were ubiquitous throughout Mexico, but it’s tough to discern where exactly they come from. The most popular origin story is that sometime in the late 18th or early 19th centuries a farmer’s wife sewed four pleated pockets onto the front of his shirt so that he could easily store guavas (hence the name) while out in the fields. Whether that’s true or not, no one really knows, but the Guayabera’s merits are without question.
With seven major golf championships, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a spot in the PGA Hall of Fame, and one helluva refreshing beverage to his name Arnold Palmer has racked up quite the cache of accolades in his day, but we think he’s deserving of just one more – The King of the Polo Shirt. During his dominating run through the professional golf circuit in the late fifties and sixties Palmer was best known for three things: his immaculate swing, his unflappable attitude, and his endless supply of polo shirts.
Stylish authors get a bad rap. Unlike their cinematic or musical counterparts, authors are not fortunate enough to have their likenesses plastered on giant posters, television screens, and print ads. Therefore, authors are often left out of the conversation when it comes to the greats of style. Of course there are exceptions to this rule (and you’ll see a few of them below) but by and large, the sartorial merits of authors often go unnoticed. Therefore, in honor of those that have a way with words and wardrobes alike, we give you the best dressed authors of all time.
S.J. Perelman - Humorist, traveler, all around eccentric.
What you can learn from his style - While his style was relatively reserved, Perelman’s glasses prove that a little bit of shape can go a long way.
Required Reading - Westward Ha! (1948)